The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Should Ph. D's be the new criteria for politics?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 406 times Debate No: 85254
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Donald Trump may not be a politician, but he may be worse. An amateur.

Intellectual experts plucked from MIT have a better chance of fixing our country than random citizens with nothing but ulterior rhetoric and money. Having intelligence be the yardstick by which we measure our candidates is one thing; making it the deal breaker is the ultimate filter for weeding out the unqualified. Ivy League professionals are preferable over some aspiring mediocre hero wannabe who thinks he has the right stuff. Newsflash: he doesn't.

Having the most prestigious degree isn't shallow; it represents the intellectual capacity to persevere through rigorous training that most of America cannot care enough to try. A Ph. D for the relevant field of government you wish to manage is the obvious plan. Arbitrary recruiting for any genius is not the scenario.

Why Ph. D's? Why not? Even if you run into a decisive conundrum where the experts are clueless, at least making the right decision makes you look smarter than the smartest people on the subject.


Politics: "the practice and theory of influencing other people" [1]

So the resolution is essentially "should only Ph. D"s be allowed to influence others and theorize influencing others."

Influencing others is an integral part of being human. Convincing a person interviewing you to give you the job is an example of influencing another person. Convincing a girl to go on a date with you is an example of influencing another person. Being a sales person and convincing people to buy your product is an example of influencing another person. There is no reason for those without a Ph. D. to be forbidden from engaging in these acts of influencing others i.e. engaging in politics.

Also theorizing influencing others is not harmful and would be unenforceable to ban for those without a Ph. D.

Ph. D's should not be the new criteria for politics.
Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for the literal interpretation of politics. I will remain in the less literal, meaning the implication that government policy should be deployed by Ph. D's.

As for your interpretation that a broader term is required to define politics, in your case, basic interpersonal influence; that, would render Ph. D's overkill and also less practical. Given, the emotional intelligence is lesser when dealing with highly intellectual introverts. But if emotional intelligence just gets manipulated by politicians with a corrupt agenda, I will take my chances with a Ph. D.

My reason for banishing mediocre and just decent intellectuals from engaging in politics is that we shouldn't be relying on those who simply WANT to help, but those who CAN actually help. Noble but stupid optimists who aren't smart enough to know the chances of being corrupted are not worthy of government politics.

I would prefer if we did not argue over which kind of politics Ph. D's are best qualified to lead. But the word limit is generous so having two debates for the price of one isn't that bad.


Although my opponent didn"t define politics in round 1, I will be nice this one time and you his definition of resolution "[all] government policy should be deployed [only] by Ph. D's"

I added "all" and "only" to my opponent"s new interpretation of the resolution because the original resolution wasn"t "Ph. D"s should sometimes be a new criteria", and the original resolution wasn"t "for some politics"

So I will give a couple examples of governments in which it would be bad if only Ph. D"s were allowed.

Student Government
The members of student government are still in students in school and have not yet been able to earn a Ph. D. So by making Ph. D"s a prerequisite for government, no one would be able to join student council government and student council government will no longer be able to exist. This would be a bad thing since student government president has important duties like "working with students to resolve problems, informing school administration of ideas emanating from the student body, and managing the student government in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer" [1]

National Government
For countries that elect their president by votes of the general population, by claiming that only Ph. D"s should be able to have a position in government, you are claiming that the general population is too stupid to vote for a smart candidate and therefore we should prevent unintelligent candidates from running because people might be stupid enough to vote them into office. If we made Ph. D"s a prerequisite for running for president, people would still want to vote for stupid candidates, and the Ph. D"s running for president or wanting to keep their position in government will have to adjust their stances on issues to please the general population. So making Ph. D"s a prerequisite for national government politics would do nothing to improve government.

Additionally, in richer countries like the U.S., people running for president are usually rich enough to be able to pay to go to university to get a Ph. D. while paying someone else to do all the work for them, for the sole purpose of meeting the Ph. D. prerequisite of running for president, as you can see if you look at the net worth of the top 7 U.S. presidential candidates here: [2]. So not only would this new policy not be beneficial, it would encourage people to waste time and resources cheating their way to get a Ph. D.

Student Government and national government are both governments in which Ph. D"s should not be a prerequisite for. This negates the resolution; vote Con.

Debate Round No. 2


It would seem vagueness is becoming my real opponent.

To rebut, nobody is expecting student governors to prematurely have the credentials I demand for standardized educated adults. It's unrealistic. Fully improbable to have an undergrad to have the same experience as a Ph. D.

As for national government, it should be reasonable for voters to have expectations and an intellectual imagination to desire candidates that think outside of the current paradigm. And yes, I underestimate the wisdom of the average voter to cast a ballot for the best candidate possible, not just the most convenient or appealing. Not wanting to change the paradigm because it's too hard indicates complacency; we might as well quit and give up now. Stopping mediocre candidates from running would raise the bar and make the race more fruitful for those who actually deserve to give the Oval Office or Capitol Hill a decent administration. Idealism is not my forte, but this should be realistic anyway. Any Ph. D. worth their ideology shouldn't bow before the masses anyway. That kind of candidate doesn't deserve a Ph. D. anyway if they can't be firm, independent and strong-minded. The claim that no improvement on government would be made is unfounded, premature, and speculative. Can't knock it till you try it; a movie critic who hates method actors is just peculiar.

Cheating to get a Ph. D. would also expose their foolishness and lack of character. All other informal and legal prerequisites for political candidacy would still apply: character, financial integrity, citizenship eligibility, etc. I'm simply asking for superior campaign regulation. Is raising the bar too much to ask? With Donald Trump aspiring to be charge of our nuclear arsenal, I consider this mildly inconvenient request to be quite reasonable.


Well, my opponent conceded that Ph. D"s should not be a prerequisite for student government. That confirms that Ph. D"s should not be a prerequisite for politics. But I will respond to my opponent"s argument on Ph. D requirement for national government anyways.

My opponent claims that cheating would expose their foolishness and lack of character. Obama admitted while he was running for president that he used to smoke weed and do cocaine [1]. If a person can admit to have done illegal drugs and still get elected, then I don"t see why the United States wouldn"t elect a cheater, especially if it becomes the norm when all the candidates start doing it. So my argument that presidential candidates would just cheat to become president still stands.

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by whiteflame 9 months ago
>Reported vote: Leugen9001// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RFD in forum post

[*Reason for removal*] While the argument points are clearly justified in this RFD, the conduct points appear to be the result of the voter's dislike of semantics. There is a certain degree of discretion allowed on conduct, but affording conduct for this reason alone is insufficient, especially when there's no rule in the debate itself.
Posted by skipsaweirdo 9 months ago
Wow, elitist scum are found everywhere, including pointless websites with this kind of rubbish as a debate topic.
Posted by Peepette 9 months ago
I know many Ph.Ds who can't common sense their way out of a paper bag.
Posted by Wylted 9 months ago
Only if it's PHDs in philosophy
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leugen9001 8 months ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD Still in forum post ; conduct point dropped as per whiteflame comment